HIGH POINT, N.C., May 29, 2014 – Rev. Dr. Joseph Blosser, Robert G. Culp Jr. director of service learning and assistant professor of religion and philosophy at High Point University, recently published an article, titled “Turning from the Shadows: Meno, the Cave, and the Service Learning Classroom,” in the spring 2014 volume of the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (MJCSL).
Stemming from his Philosophy and Ethics of Education class at HPU, Blosser’s article demonstrates the value of teaching Plato’s dialogues, specifically the Meno and Republic, in the classroom. Rather than taking notes from a lecture or reading an assigned journal article, Blosser maintains that teaching Plato’s dialogues engages students in a drama that helps transition them from passive to active learners – a necessity in any service learning course, he says.
Each character in Plato’s dialogues represents a different perspective on issues such as justice, what can be taught, how people teach and the relationship between a student and a teacher. Blosser hopes his MJCSL article will encourage other professors to use the dialogues in their teaching and see the value they bring to the classroom.
“The Michigan Journal is the gold-standard for publishing in service learning,” says Blosser. “Being published in it is an honor, and it helps to put HPU’s Service Learning Program on the national stage.”
This year alone, 297 HPU students enrolled in service learning courses completed 7,425 hours of service in 20 different courses and 11 different academic departments. Among other local organizations, students worked with the High Point Arts Council, the High Point Jail Ministry, Ward Street Missions, Open Door Ministries, West End Ministries, the YWCA, the Salvation Army, the HPU Community Writing Center and many other agencies. Blosser was also named the North Carolina Campus Compact Civic Engagement Professional of the Year.
The MJCSL is a national, peer-reviewed journal for university faculty and administrators. Twice a year, the journal publishes research, theory and pedagogy articles related to higher education service-learning that extend the service-learning knowledge base and strengthen practitioners’ work.